The main problem with the visitor system is that it is under-resourced and therefore often takes too long to arrive at conclusions (Letters, THES , July 26). The visitor system does, however, give students and staff members the opportunity, at minimal cost or risk, to challenge a rich (pre-1992) university that they believe has not carried out its proper duty.
The two sides can formulate their cases and rebut their opponent's case on an equal footing. Little can be gained by a university applying huge resources to bolster its case as might happen with hearings.
There is a great risk in discarding a system because those who lose - usually because they have been found to have wrongly exercised their powers or failed to carry out their duties - are given a majority voice in getting rid of it.
A. J. Pointon